We’re aware that it’s been a long time since we last posted. Unfortunately, this ain’t because inequality’s been solved and we’re all living in a feminist utopia.
There have been a lot of changes for various members of the Jar Belles recently. Changes of jobs, houses, cities, relationships, health. It’s all been a wee bit stressful, but we’re more settled now (for the most part) and can no longer ignore the headlines that have been crying out for our attention. Ched Evans, watch yourself.
Page 3 this week throws the spotlight on two amazing women – Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. While these two could easily be the subject of two articles as individuals, their careers have been so closely entwined that it made sense to celebrate the two as a pair. They also represent female friendship as it actually is – supportive, empowering, loving and FUN. The day gossip magazines start fabricating jealous cat fights between these two is the day I show up at their offices and reign fiery vengeance upon them.
I was on a train recently and two women were sitting across from me. They didn’t know each other prior to the journey and I had the pleasure of watching them become friends over the hour. At first, they discussed their families (coincidentally, both were going to visit sick partners in hospital). By the end of the conversation, they were discussing the impact that beauty had on the way they perceived the world and were perceived by it. Watching these two intelligent women debate was fascinating, as one favoured the stance that it was harder to go through the world if you were less attractive and the other, if you were more. I tried not to eavesdrop on their private conversation but when issues of race and gender came into it, I was hooked. Then, in the corner of my eye, I noticed a man to my right trying to catch my attention. I looked over. He grinned, gestured to the women, then held up his hands, opening and closing them as if they were crab claws.
He’d called the women chatterboxes.
I’m lucky enough to have a close group of amazing female friends, all of whom have supported me since I was a wee chubster of twelve. I love them all more than anything – we’ve been through family bereavements, break ups, coming outs and some seriously bad dye-jobs over the years and every time I see any of them my heart is immediately lifted. We encourage each other to be ambitious and courageous, and celebrate each other’s achievements with gusto (and alcohol). I’ve laughed with them over the stupidest shit in the whole world until I’ve been literally worried that I would die, like a victim of Joker gas.
The apple juice drops seep into my mouth
and the sourness hits the top of my tongue
I pause and swallow
Guardians of the Galaxy is a blockbuster action epic out this summer, and it’s the second this year from MARVEL Studios. MARVEL are the first to make films covering a truly cohesive, pre-planned, shared universe and although there have been intersecting crossovers in film history since at least the 1940’s (everyone should watch House of Frankenstein for good or ill), these were spur-of-the-moment ideas for easy marquee value. MARVEL, on the other hand, are planning theirs out with an almost The Riddler-esque glee and doing so to great effect. It’s actually genius; MARVEL can market their other films through easter eggs and references in each installment and audiences will love it. I know, because I’m a part of that audience. I remember back in 2008 when after the credits for Iron Man finished, there was a cameo with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. I. Absolutely. Lost. My. Shit. I shouted, “ITH THURY! NICK THURY!” while spraying saliva over everyone in the rows in front of me like it was Seaworld, before leaping forward and chewing on the seat in front like a rabid shark. What an excellent day that was. I remember it fondly.
CW: Sexual violence
Our Page 3 woman has been on everyone’s lips this week but until recently, I hadn’t heard of her. Luckily, this has been rectified and the more I hear about Roxane, the bigger fan I become.
Roxane has been on the front page of just about every newspaper of worth recently due to her new book, Bad Feminist. Bad Feminist is a collection of essays which show what it’s like to move through the world as a woman, and the title refers to the contradictions which can present themselves in being a woman and a feminist. Roxane accepts the label ‘bad feminist’ because she is a “flawed human” who loves the colour pink, dances to Blurred Lines and fakes orgasms. She accepts the grey areas of feminism and opens up the idea of feminism as inclusive and messy – it truly is for everyone.
The summer blockbuster season is nearly over and once again, something is few and far between. Where are our female leads?
This is an absurdly fair question. Blockbusters make supreme dents on our pop-cultural consciousness, and our pop culture is a reflection of the society and cultures we exist in. Women are half the world’s population, so it stands to reason that approximately half the big movies should be equipped with female leads. But they’re not.
CW: Sexual violence, violence against women
An ostensibly minor thing happened this week, which set fire to comments sections around the internet and resulted in a woman receiving so many violent threats, against both herself and her parents, that she was forced out of her home. The catalyst of all of this vitriol and hatred? Anita Sarkeesian released the latest episode of her well known video series Tropes vs Women in Games.
CW: Pornography, sexual violence, sexual exploitation
I have a problem with porn. Not with pornography as a whole – as Caitlin Moran so accurately put it, “pornography is just ‘stuff fucking’, after all. The act of having sex isn’t sexist so there’s no way pornography can be, in itself, inherently misogynist.” My problem is with the porn industry.